David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This article was primarily a reaction to Dennett's Sweet Dreams (2005). In it Dennett pretends to renounce zombies. But what he means is that consciousness is nothing beyond that which can be tested behaviorally and objectively, so since zombies pass these tests, they can't be said to be unconscious – yet that is part of their definition. So they are a contradiction. In other words, zombies are inconceivable because a being that is "behaviorally, objectively indistinguishable from a conscious person" just doesn't deserve in Dennett's eyes to be called unconscious. I argue, to the contrary, that zombies must lack brains since it is perfectly clear that in our universe having a brain (normally) entails having consciousness. I argue also that brain states are about people and things in the world, meaning for example that for some brain state S, necessarily if one is in brain state S, one is thinking about external object A. The brain "comes with" a world. The brain, therefore, transcends the boundaries of the skull. Science (and Dennett) cannot reduce the brain to something that doesn't pull off this most astonishing of feats.
|Keywords||consciousness brain direct realism|
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